Simple Date Ideas // A Collaboration

If you know a little bit of our love story, you know that Adam and I dated long distance up until two months before we got married.  Those 1800 miles between Iowa and Los Angeles felt like a million for dates meant 3 hour phone conversation each night.  So whenever we were together, we would cram in dates on the beach, dates at the theater, dates at 24 hour restaurants, we just couldn't spend enough time together.

Now almost four years in, we are still crushing on each other daily but our date nights take so much more intention and effort.  Something about these sweet babies and busy work schedules and the ever lack of extra funds. . .

But because it's still important and so strengthening for our relationship, I thought I would bring a couple of the sweetest blogging girls together to share a few of our favorite, cheap date ideas.  Please take a few minutes and visit their blogs and say hey on Instagram.  I am blessed to have the best readers and friends here on this little space so let's share the love!! xo
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Hannah Olson // Just Bee Blog
// Blog // Instagram // Twitter //

1. My husband Bjorn and I are currently renting a house but plan to build our dream house someday. So, a fun date we go on every so often is what we call a "house-dreaming date." We have a special notebook where we record all of our plans and ideas. It's a blast dreaming together, even though we're in the really vague stages of planning now. If we're at Barnes & Noble, we have a home architecture book with us to flip through. Either way, though, these dates go best with a cup of coffee nearby. :)

2. This one's simple. We cook together. My husband and I work in the same school district, so we get to carpool home together. Sometimes we stop at the grocery store before heading home - other days, we scrounge around in the cupboards for tonight's supper menu. Bjorn is great at cooking meat and thinking creatively, and I usually help out with chopping and prepping. We're still working on the whole "make-washing-dishes-fun" part. :)

3. An on-going date idea: start a hobby together. We're lifelong learners over here, always interested in learning about something new! We're also newlyweds and looking to start our family with pets before kiddos...so this fall, we took the plunge and got a 75-gallon aquarium that we filled with African Cichlids. They're beautiful fish and we have so enjoyed caring for them and learning about them together! It's a shared responsibility that we take joy in. We don't have a TV so we have the fish tank in a prominent place in our family room - some nights, we just love sitting on the floor watching them. We also find ourselves going on fun dates to Pet Expo to learn more about this type of fish, or to pick up food or extra things we need. It's so fun. :)
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Liz Quick // The Quick Journey // Blog // Facebook // Instagram

As parents to four kiddos, it is important that we sneak little snippets of time to connect and love on one another.  When we only had one or two kids, it was easier to find those times, but now with four, we have to be very intentional.  One of our favorite "date night" things to do is to rent a movie on the couch after the kids have been tucked in and eat ice cream from our local ice cream shop. It not seem like much of a date, but it is easy and I can wear my sweats!

When we really want to shake things up, we hire our parents to watch the kiddos and go out to our favorite New Orleans' style restaurant.  Any time we get a chance to go out and eat, just the two of us, I want to make sure we hit up a place with awesome food!  We live in a small town away from the city, so eating out is a real treat and doesn't happen very often.  It is so nice to have a break from the kitchen.

Since I've had a nursing child for majority of the past seven years, we rarely have dates without at least one child.  We've become pretty accustom to having our kids tag along with us wherever we go.  Some of our favorite moments are from loading the kids up and driving around the country roads to look for deer and turkeys.  Even though the kids are with us, they sit in the back and gawk out the windows while we get a few minutes to chat just the two of us.  There is also a wildlife refuge close by that we frequent and, if the kiddos are lucky, we take along a picnic and eat while we bird watch.  It might not be glamorous, but it's part of the phase we're in right now.
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To be honest, we are super unoriginal when it comes to dates most weeks. . . a movie, dinner, the youuuush.  haha!

When we take time to plan something special, it's always extra fun.  One of my favorites was the time we woke up early to watch the sun rise over a little lake --- with donuts and chocolate milk of course.  Sometimes we also will go out just for dessert.  This is great because it's less expensive than a whole meal and let's be honest, we rarely get dessert after dinner out because we are always so stuffed.   One of the simplest things we did after Emmett was born, was one summer evening after he had gone to sleep, we took our lawn chair/couch outside and sat in the cool evening air, watching Netflix on my phone. It was so simple, but a fun change of scenery.

No matter how hard it is to make date night happen, it's always worth it every time we make time for each other!!  What are your favorite, simple dates!?

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  1. This was such a fun collaboration, Nicole!! Thanks so much for including us :) I'm excited to check out The Quick Journey - and to come back here and see others' fun date ideas!! :)

  2. yes! i'm so grateful you reached out to me. and seriously. you had the sweetest date ideas. LOVE! XO

  3. This was such a fun post! Hannah is such a doll. Thanks for including me. ;)

  4. Yay! I love dates. :) This was a neat read + gives me some ideas on how to incorporate dating into the next stage of our life with having a baby. To be honest, our favorite dates are the simple out-for-dinner + coffee combos. I'm a foodie so a fun meal + some tasty coffee is where it's at. ;)

  5. My husband and I started dating long distance when I was in college, and we always ended up at the park. We would hold hands, walk, and talk, and started a tradition of sitting on every bench we found, at least for a little while. (He ended up proposing on our favorite bench!). We still love going on walks in the park....and it's still as free as it ever was :)

    We also like playing games together like Scrabble, browsing at Bible book stores, and exploring new places. The simple things are often better than the elaborate, fancy ones.

  6. Living in a town where "the thing" to do on a Friday night is go walk around Walmart (which isn't even supersized), it can be hard to find fun dates to do! :-)

    I remember one night we really wanted to do something "date-ish", but didn't have much money. So we did the next best thing....scrounged up our loose change and each got a pop out of the vending machine on our college campus and took a nice walk around campus (it's out in the country, and it was at sunset and beautiful). It was fabulous!

    We found a beautiful romantic spot by the river one evening on one of our walks, and it became "our spot". We go into town and get tacos or Subway and take it to the river and eat. It is so peaceful and a nice way to unwind after a big day.

    Generally, our dates consist of Netflix and junk food ;) or bowling or going out for dinner or ice cream. My man is outdoorsy, so we've also went hiking or played tennis (free!), we both love flea markets/peddler malls, and we both love to travel (we love to find interesting places to eat or get coffee along the way!). Although I love the fancy dinners and elaborate dates, the simplest things can be the most romantic and enjoyable! :) I just love dating my husband!

  7. no, seriously you are so great too! and now i just want a photo shoot with adam and i on our bed. haha. ;)

  8. seriously girl. us too! we are all about the food and because we don't eat out a lot otherwise, it's always a treat. . . now i'm hungry and want a date night. haha. XOXO

  9. oh my goodness. sweetest story ever! i love when couples have 'their thing' that is special between them. so so sweet. thanks for sharing!!

  10. SO many wonderful ideas! and i love your story about the pop and a walk. totally something we would do. ;) long live free dates!! XO